LINE of Duty viewers were left horrified on Sunday night after Jimmy Savile appeared in a news report.
The BBC crime drama’s second episode of series six continued to investigate the murder of journalist Gail Vella as well as police corruption.
Within the first 10 minutes of the episode, Superintendent Ted Hastings and DS Steve Arnott were seen watching footage from some of Gail’s news reports.
Gail was stood outside court and spoke about a corrupt retired police officer and child sex abuse charges.
She said: “It’s now a matter of public record that Jimmy Savile cultivated relationships with senior police officers.
“Savile exploited those relationships to intimidate anyone attempting to investigate his offending.
“We now realise what Savile was getting out of those relationships with senior officers, but what remains unknown and uninvestigated is what those officers were getting out of their relationship with Savile.”
Viewers were shocked at the reference to the real life child sex offender, who died in 2011.
Taking to Twitter, one wrote: “Jimmy Saville?? No holds barred now!! #LineOfDuty.”
Another added: “As if @jed_mercurio name dropped Jimmy Savile in #LineOfDuty.”
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A third tweeted: “Jesus Christ! When the BBC bring Jimmy savile in a Line Of Duty storyline? #LineOfDuty.”
However, this isn’t the first time the Jim’ll Fix It star has been named on the show, having been referenced in series three.
Creator Jed Mercurio previously revealed the BBC weren’t happy about his inclusion, telling The Telegraph in 2019 he had wanted to explore a case where: “complaints had been made with regard to child sexual exploitation and police investigations had not been pursued – and deliberately not pursued – and we felt the best example of that was Jimmy Savile.”
He added how the BBC had the final say on episodes before they were signed off and continued: “The BBC was uncomfortable with references to Savile… we had to justify why it was relevant to the drama, and we were able to do that.”
Line of Duty continues on Sunday, April 4 at 9pm on BBC One.